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Old 17-01-2019, 05:57   #1
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Purchase boat from an owner in the Caribbean

My wife and I are interested in purchasing a boat directly from the owner on a Caribbean island.
Would like to advice on the best way to proceed. Also would like advice on pitfalls.
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Old 17-01-2019, 06:26   #2
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pirate Re: Purchase boat from an owner in the Caribbean

Depends on the flag to some extent..
I used a broker when I bought a French flagged boat in St Martin.. he handled the de flagging etc and checked all was good.. if memory serves he billed the seller 3% for the services.
In the USA.. another private sale I got everything notarized and stamped by the sellers bank manager.
Both took a little while.
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Old 17-01-2019, 06:55   #3
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Re: Purchase boat from an owner in the Caribbean

As boatie said- a broker will deal with the title and closing. Having a broker escrow the money provides a level of protection.

This doubly important if you are "on the learning curve".
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Old 17-01-2019, 07:01   #4
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Re: Purchase boat from an owner in the Caribbean

She is US registered and out of St Thomas.
Owner does want not to pay a broker so I am thinking about just using a lawyer who does marine transactions.
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Old 17-01-2019, 07:03   #5
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Re: Purchase boat from an owner in the Caribbean

Not my first boat but first time purchase not in the continental US.
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Old 17-01-2019, 07:12   #6
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pirate Re: Purchase boat from an owner in the Caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigal56 View Post
Not my first boat but first time purchase not in the continental US.
In that case US law should apply.. a marine lawyer should be good enough to ensure all 64 shares are held by the owner.
Good luck and if it goes through.. Enjoy
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Old 17-01-2019, 07:16   #7
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Re: Purchase boat from an owner in the Caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigal56 View Post
She is US registered and out of St Thomas.
Owner does want not to pay a broker so I am thinking about just using a lawyer who does marine transactions.
Is the boat USA "registered" (State level) as you stated, or USA "documented" (Federal level)?

Are you a USA Citizen?

If yes to both then it should be a very easy transaction.

Rather than hire an attorney, I would use a documentation service, this is what they do all day long. Some provide escrow services too, which I suggest you use.
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Old 17-01-2019, 10:06   #8
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Re: Purchase boat from an owner in the Caribbean

I know folks who have had success using ASAP Marine Documentation & Registration located in Miami. Get a contract but have them hold the deposit. I once hired a respected broker (is there such a thing any more?) to do the contract on a direct purchase...cheaper than a lawyer.
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Old 17-01-2019, 10:11   #9
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Re: Purchase boat from an owner in the Caribbean

i bought a us-documented boat in st thomas usvi. simple standard contract. got a temporary us registration in st thomas (i am not american) sailed the boat to antigua and registered here. if you feel uneasy about the seller. have the boat checked out by a documentation company. very fast service
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Old 17-01-2019, 10:14   #10
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Re: Purchase boat from an owner in the Caribbean

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Is the boat USA "registered" (State level) as you stated, or USA "documented" (Federal level)?

Are you a USA Citizen?

If yes to both then it should be a very easy transaction.

Rather than hire an attorney, I would use a documentation service, this is what they do all day long. Some provide escrow services too, which I suggest you use.
Agreed on documentation services and definitely escrow service as well. Be sure that the process also looks for any liens on the boat and especially tax liens which they usually do not look attached for some silly reason. My recent purchase had $5,000 in taxes owed the owner thought he was going to skate on.
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Old 17-01-2019, 12:58   #11
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Re: Purchase boat from an owner in the Caribbean

there are some smaller brokers (especially in south florida) out there that will handle closing paperwork between the listing broker and the boat loan closer for a couple of thousand dollars. well worth the 2 or 3 thousand dollars it costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigal56 View Post
She is US registered and out of St Thomas.
Owner does want not to pay a broker so I am thinking about just using a lawyer who does marine transactions.
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